I've run two Tough Mudders now and can safely say that if I'd stuck to Primal Blueprint Fitness, I would have been able to do a smaller race, like Warrior Dash, with no problem. The main thing is to make sure you are getting some type of interval on your moving slow days (hills, trails, etc.) and really sticking to the strength training and sprinting part.
If you aim to do a Tough Mudder or something else in the 10-12 mile range with a bit tougher obstacles, AND the goal for you is to get through the race plus the obstacles, then I feel you need to up the ante in training. I started Crossfit 2-3x a week for my first Tough Mudder and handled the running just fine even without never having run that distance before. The second one, I bumped Crossfit up to 4-5x a week and ran it faster than another guy that was a marathoner (oh, yeah, and he couldn't pull himself up over the 6 ft. walls ;) ).
Not saying if you want to do a longer race you gotta do Crossfit, but definitely HIIT with some significant compound movement strength training would help. For the 5k length races, PBF should be fine, especially since crowds are usually big and you get some decent rest time. Good luck!
I just want to get this thread a bit more active again!
My Tough Mudder race date just got moved from mid-May to early June. Luckily the new date still works for me!
My "I hate running because it's too high impact!" boyfriend has signed up, too. He's not in very good shape at the moment and believes that his great swimming ability (he used to be competitive years ago and can still swim circles around me) can translate into great running ability. He does rock-climb, so he definitely has that advantage.
Has anyone found that rock-climbing (even in a rock gym) helps with upper body strength and, thus, can help me pull myself over a high wall?? :)
Upper body strength certainly helps, but I found when I did Tough Mudder that the walls were all about technique. The only people who got over them unassisted were people who took a running jump at them, and looked like they had done it before and knew the right technique. Maybe there's a cement wall somewhere you can practice on?
About the running--at my TM, nobody ran the whole thing. I suppose it depends on what your course is like, but I did the Poconos course and it's basically on and around a mountain. It's a frickin' mountain climb. We certainly ran the flat parts, but nobody ran up the mountain, it was just too steep.
I thought the obstacles were definitely the easy part of my Tough Mudder. I mean, they were hard, but not physically--they were mentally challenging and hard from a balance or technique standpoint. For instance, I had simply never swung on rings before, and didn't have the technique down, so I lost the momentum like two rings in and dropped into the water. Or the one where you have to walk the balance beam across the lake--I lost my balance halfway and fell. But as far as physical fitness went, the only truly challenging obstacles were the walls. The HARD part of Tough Mudder was mountain climbing for thirteen miles, haha.
Thanks for the reply!
Mine's going to be in New Hampshire at a ski resort (obviously sans snow)... so I anticipate it to be quite mountainous! Eep!